Dentist Scams?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Shawn C, Jun 24, 2003.

  1. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,429
    Likes Received:
    0
    1st of all, I still have my wisdom teeth. I have a big head and I have plenty of room for them. Even when I was in Marine Corps boot camp (11 years ago), they removed the wisdom teeth of about 1/4 of my platoon. They left mine alone since they weren't causing me problems.

    They still don't cause me any problems. My previous dentist, 2 years ago said that there was no reason to remove my widsom teeth, especially since there is no decay and not causing any problems.

    My new dentist says "Oh, no, they definately need to come out. They can cause all kinds of problems in the future. I recommend removing them immediately. If we wait until you have problems, they will be harder to remove". What? blah blah blah.

    Even though he wouldn't be doing the surgery, he tried to refer me to an oral surgeon to get them removed. (Probably has a deal with him)

    Is this just a scam for some kind of kickback? Why would a dentist recommend removing 4 teeth if they aren't causing any problems?

    This is the same dentist who wanted to to get braces and veneers for the gap in my front teeth, but when I said I didn't want to pay that much (after 2 months of decision-making), decided that he could just fill the gap in with some sort of material. This is something he said previously wouldn't work. But it did, and it turned out pretty well.

    Are dentists bound by the hippocratic oath? Are alot of dentists looking more for profit than actual dental health?
     
  2. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    12,013
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  3. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2000
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had a dentist who kept telling me that my wisdom teeth had plenty of room to come in, and unless they caused me great pain, he reccommended leaving them alone. So when they finally came in, they didn't have enough room, because my jaws weren't really big enough unless they came in exactly right without any of my other teeth moving at all. So, at 27, after both of my top wisdom teeth had cracked due to the pressure of pushing in where there wasn't space, he had the nerve to say, "Well, looks like we're gonna have to pull all 4 wisdom teeth, then do something to re-straighten your other teeth, since they got all misaligned by the wisdom teeth."
    All when he could have either cut out or pulled them 10 years earlier, and I would have been fine. Now I'm looking at having to get braces to fix a severe overlap of my front teeth, and a malocclusion, and I'm sure it was because he knew if he waited, he'd get more money later. Needless to say, he just pulled the wisdom teeth, and I found a better dentist the next day.
     
  4. ken thompson

    ken thompson Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2000
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes. They are defitiely motiveated by money to some degree. Varies by dentist obviously but as with any medical opinion, get a second. And a third for that matter.
     
  5. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    0
    I had my wisdom teeth taken out when I was a teenager. They were causing me problems because they were growing out horizontally and crowding in my other teeth.

    I think your doc is concerned that even though you are fine now, they might cause you pain and infection later in life. They are definitely easier and less painful to take out early rather than when they are more developed. I think he is just giving you the advice any dentist would give to the general population without considering your specific condition.

    You could get a second opinion but if you think that you are fine then why don't you just wait until you actually have problems before taking care of it? That's what I would do. It is painful whether you do it now or later. Who cares if it is a little bit more painful?

    As for your other concern, I think the dentists do get a referral kickback so it is possible that he has a conflict of interest.
     
  6. Hunter P

    Hunter P Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    1,483
    Likes Received:
    0


    So he plotted to make more money off of you by predicting that your teeth would crack ten years later and that you would still be his patient after all those years?

    Damn those psychic dentists![​IMG]
     
  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    12,013
    Likes Received:
    1
    According to the ADA:
    Extraction of wisdom teeth is generally recommended when:
    • Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result.
    • There is a chance that poorly aligned wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth.
    • A cyst (fluid-filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.


     
  8. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2001
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    0
    People seem to think medical/dental decisions are black and white. Could it just be a difference of opinion between two (or three) qualified, honest professionals?
     
  9. Lee L

    Lee L Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2000
    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    0
    My younger brother had his wisdom teeth come in and they caused him significant pain and about $3500 in dental bills. He was not going to the dentist regularly so I'm sure the problems could have been caught earlier if he had, but I would definitely have the dentist keep a watch on them.
     
  10. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  11. Mike Lenthol

    Mike Lenthol Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    0
    Anybody know what was done about wisdom teeth say 25? 50? 100 years ago? What was the attitude, pull now or later? Or how about outside US?

    I personally have all 4 teeth, can see them all and they look just like any other tooth.
     
  12. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    12,013
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was told that a dentist can pull wisdom teeth as long as they aren't impacted. An oral surgeon MUST pull impacted wisdom teeth due to the more intensity of the operation.

    Anyone who has had wisdom teeth pulled knows that you need to sign a form stating that you understand the risks of wisdom teeth extraction.
     
  13. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    798
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wouldn't rush to have them removed. Sounds like they came in okay, previous dentists said you were fine and this dentist has a policy or belief that all wisdom teeth should be removed. Unless he can state why exactly he wants them removed I'd proceed with caution. I have 3 of mine, 1 was impacted and had to be removed. I've had a number of very good dentists since then in several states and none has ever recommended that the remaining 3 be removed.
     
  14. John Spencer

    John Spencer Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2000
    Messages:
    857
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. Mark Fitzsimmons

    Mark Fitzsimmons Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2001
    Messages:
    539
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the bottom line here is that no, your dentist is not trying to scam you. Clear evidence is him referring you to a specialist.

    Additionally, people have differing opinions. We can see this from the clashing views of your new and previous dentist. But just because people have different opinions doesn't mean either is necessarily wrong.

    The 'corrupt dentist' idea had been mentioned here. I'd just like to remind people that there are corrupt people in every field, its an unfortunate facet of life.

    When getting a second opinion, remember that it is exactly what it is called, another opinion. There is not some magical law of society that the second person you talk to is going to be right.

    My advice? If you have dental insurance, go ahead and get them extracted. If it is going to end up costing you an arm and a leg [and perhaps a few teeth (to put a spin on an old cliche)[​IMG]] then it may be the better choice to postpone surgury.
     
  16. Walt N

    Walt N Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    417
    Likes Received:
    0
    According to a former girlfriend's father who was a dentist, the profession is fraught with fraud at or near the level of transmission shops.

    Reader's Digest had an article years ago that supports that notion. It can be read here: http://www.thewebdentist.com/resources/rd.html

    " At a dental school, I heard about a newsletter, The Profitable Dentist, and became a subscriber. From this newsletter I discovered that there's a whole business devoted to telling dentists how to build up the "million dollar practice." Dentists are flocking to courses on how to generate more profits by maximizing the use of hygienists, extending credit, stepping up collection practices and persuading patients to accept expensive restoration work instead of fillings."

    Scary stuff. Keep both eyes open, and good luck!
     
  17. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,429
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the tips! I had all kinds of room for my wisdom teeth, and from the xrays from the previous dentists, they aren't crowding anything. I'm 31 now, and I'm pretty sure that my teeth aren't getting any bigger and my head's not getting any smaller.

    I'm not saying that maybe in 10-20 years I might have a problem, I just might. I just don't believe in pulling them out without a good reason! Why go through the pain, the swelling, dry roots, etc. when you really don't have to?

     
  18. Mike Lenthol

    Mike Lenthol Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2000
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  19. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2001
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2003
    Messages:
    12,013
    Likes Received:
    1
     

Share This Page